Robert Alford signs four-year extension with Falcons

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
The Atlanta Falconssigned Robert Alford to a four-year contract extension, keeping one of their starting cornerbacks from hitting the open market after the season.

The Falcons announced the signing Thursday. The deal is worth $38 million and includes $21 million guaranteed, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Alford, 28, was a second-round draft pick in 2013 out of Southeastern Louisiana. He became a regular starter during his second season and has started all 12 games this year.

"Robert loves the culture and the organization and the city, and he believes there's something special going on here," said Brian Mackler, Alford's agent. "He wanted to be part of it for the next four years and become a Falcon for life."

Alford is the second player to receive an extension this season, joining right tackle Ryan Schraeder, who received a five-year, $33 million extension. Owner Arthur Blank also rewarded general manager Thomas Dimitroff with an extension through 2019.

Alford was one of two cornerbacks the Falcons drafted in 2013, joining first-round pick and fellow starter Desmond Trufant. Trufant is on injured reserve after undergoing pectoral surgery, but the 2015 Pro Bowler figures to be rewarded with a lucrative extension. The Falcons exercised the $8 million fifth-year option on Trufant's contract through 2017.

Alford was in the last year of his deal. Because of his speed and athleticism, he was destined to attract some type of attention had he hit the open market. Although Alford has struggled at times with penalties, the Falcons think he can thrive in coach Dan Quinn's defense.

Alford leads the team with 12 passes defended to go with two interceptions. He is fifth on the team with 47 combined tackles.
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